8.8m depositors 3, Geng Loceng 0! Hurrah!

The Klang Kirim Geng Loceng who tried so hard to instigate 8.8million TH depositors to rebel against the Government with their contentious and scandalous allegations designed with malice, as part of creating the impression TH was being plundered to ‘bail out’ 1MDB in TRX.

The Edge Market story:

Tabung Haji not selling TRX land but developing it into high-end apartments

By Danial Idraki / theedgemarkets.com | February 4, 2016 : 3:01 PM MYT

KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 4): Lembaga Tabung Haji said it will be developing the 1.6-acre Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) land it had bought from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) into high-end residential apartments worth an estimated gross development value (GDV) of RM820 million.

The decision not to sell but to develop it, according to its chairman Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim, was made after considering the appreciation of the land’s value since Tabung Haji bought the tract.

Abdul Azeez said the land is worth about RM250 million currently, compared to the RM188.5 million price tag it paid to 1MDB to acquire the tract last April, which, in turn, was 43 times the price 1MDB had paid for the plot when it bought the land from the federal government about five years ago.

Tabung Haji’s acquisition had been viewed as a bail-out of sorts for the cash-strapped state-owned investment company at the time and was heavily criticised.

Following the purchase, Tabung Haji said the plot would be sold at a profit and that many buyers had shown interest.

“We [have] reconsidered our position, and decided that it is better to keep and develop the land, since it has gone up in value to about RM3,100 per sq ft from the RM2,773 that we paid for,” Azeez told a press conference after announcing the pilgrim fund’s dividend and bonus payout for its financial year 2015.

He added that Tabung Haji Properties has been given the mandate to develop the land, and that the project is now in its initial planning stage.

Tabung Haji chief executive and deputy group managing director Datuk Johan Abdullah, meanwhile, said the group intends to build high-end residential apartments on the TRX land, with an initial GDV of approximately RM820 million.

“We must also look at the market outlook, which at the moment is depressed for the property sector. But we believe that this development is a good investment for the long term,” Johan added.

*****************

It was part of the strategy to demonise Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak’s leadership and the Klang Kirim Geng Loceng was blatant enough to manipulate half truths, to create a panic for the 8.8 million TH depositors.

It started with the assuringly anonymous blog which produced some of the papers of a TH BoD meeting, about the proposal to acquire the 67,954 sq. ft. parcel earmarked for high end luxury residential/serviced apartments within TRX.

Then some of the Klang Kirim Gang Loceng harped on the matter further, trying io re-controversialise the issue.

Last December Dewan Rakyat sitting, Minister in-charge of TH matters Mej. Jen. (B) Dato’ Seri Jamil Khir Baharom already explained that the  67,954 sq. ft. parcel is too valuable to be hived off.

Published in: on February 4, 2016 at 21:00  Comments (1)  

Value of friendship

One may find the value of friendship and even comradeship when one is at one’s the lowest ebb. The Star summed up the story about the capital market player who is the man about town at the moment.

The Star story:

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Ironically, ‘Repco Low”, who was found guilty, dislikes being known as ‘Repco Low’

BY B.K. SIDHU

Someone associated with Low says that he would walk the extra mile just to help a friend even with all his troubles.

PETALING JAYA: Ironically, Low Thiam Hock dislikes being known by his monicker “Repco Low” which thrust him into the limelight. He has not been able to shed the nickname that has somewhat metamorphised into a term commonly used in the local stock market when stocks hit euphoric levels.

Low, first emerged in the mid 1990s, when he took over this smallish car parts and lubricants company – Repco Holdings Bhd that was listed on the second board. It was just before the second board stock market run-up that started in 1996.

The Malaysian stock market in the mid-1990s was the hottest stock market as there wasn’t a more speculative one in the world than the second board.

The run in the second board started in 1996 and ended when the crisis came about in mid-1997. The second board companies generally had little liquidity considering that its minimum listing requirement was RM20mil. The tight liquidity caused the share price to move up to dizzy levels – mostly without fundamentals backing them up.

It was also quite common to see second board stocks worth RM20, RM40 and even RM70 a share.

Repco was among those that went above the normal levels – it shot up from it lowest point of a few ringgit to over RM100.

Traders were also taking advantage of the long settlement period then which was T+7 (payment is seven days after buying shares) compared to the current ruling of T+3. As Repco stock price surged, so did the popularity of Low, who was Repco’s executive chairman.

Repco’s rise in stock price in the mid-1990s was fuelled by proposals that the company was to take over Sabah based-Innosabah Securities Sdn Bhd – a move that did not materialise.

The company then ventured into Sabah’s gaming sector to operate a four-digit game. It also announced several other ventures and all this pushed the share price very high.

It was helped by the fact that during those years, a large number of stock market punters had not gone through a crash and were still hoping to make a pile after having tasted it during the 1993 KLSE bull run.

Repco hit a historical high of RM140.50 per share in September 1997 but collapsed to RM2.98 less than a year later. Subsequently in 2000, the stock’s trading was suspended and de-listed three years later.

Low is someone who talks very fast and sometimes it is very hard to make out what he is saying. But yet, he has a simple look and can blend in the crowd.

His meeting point in the mid-1990s was the old KL Hilton Hotel and he was often surrounded by several bodyguards.

Since the late 1990s, his name has not surfaced in any of the local stocks although there is always speculation of his involvement.

Someone associated with Low says that he would walk the extra mile just to help a friend even with all his troubles.

In his heyday, punters often liked stocks that were related to Low although his name never appeared anywhere in the list of shareholders.

In the process, many lost money betting on someone who they probably have never seen before.

*********************

The support that Low is getting from the landmark case of persecution by the Securities Commission, which expanded over the span of 17 years, is very inspiring.

The Session Court decision brought upon SC’s in what seemingly about ‘selective prosecution, is a precedence which triggered the contentious concerns by capital and financial market players.

The Star story:

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

‘Repco’ Low found guilty in case running over 17 years

BY EUGENE MAHALINGAM

The case which epitomises the SC’s fight against stock manipulation was heard in front of about 40 people and some of them did not realise that the man found guilty was synonymous with the name “Repco Low”. (Guilty as charged: Low (right) and his lawyers at the Jalan Duta Sessions Court yesterday. – Bernama)
The case which epitomises the SC’s fight against stock manipulation was heard in front of about 40 people and some of them did not realise that the man found guilty was synonymous with the name “Repco Low”. (Guilty as charged: Low (right) and his lawyers at the Jalan Duta Sessions Court yesterday. – Bernama)

KUALA LUMPUR: The high-profile case of the Securities Commission (SC) against Low Thiam Hock that has raged on for 17 years took a fresh turn yesterday when the Sessions Court found the latter guilty of manipulating the shares of Repco Holdings Bhd.

The case which epitomises the SC’s fight against stock manipulation was heard in front of about 40 people and some of them did not realise that the man found guilty was synonymous with the name “Repco Low”.

In passing his verdict, Judge Mat Ghani Abdullah found Low, the former executive chairman of Repco, had failed to raise a reasonable doubt on the prosecution’s case, and that his defence only amounted to a bare denial and an afterthought.

Low, 53, appeared calm when the verdict was read.

Low was ordered to surrender his passport, while bail was maintained at RM300,000.

A prosecutor from the SC said she was involved in the case for the past 17 years.

Low, accompanied by lawyers, left the courts without speaking to reporters.

Mat Ghani held that the court was satisfied that Low, through the manner of buying 227,000 units of Repco shares on Dec 3, 1997, had in fact created a misleading appearance as to the price of Repco shares on the stock exchange.

He was charged in 1999 under Section 84(1) of the Securities Industry Act 1983 (SIA) after committing the offence in 1997.

Under the Act, Low faces a minimum fine of RM1mil and maximum jail term of up to 10 years. The court has set Jan 19 for sentencing.

Better known as Repco Low in stock market circles, Low got his nickname when he was a director of Repco, at a time when the Sabah-based gaming company’s stock was a high-flier in the 1996 second board stock market bull run.

The company’s shares flew to a high of RM140.50 per share in September 1997 but collapsed to just RM2.98 less than a year later. In October 2000, the stock was suspended from trading on Bursa Malaysia and de-listed three years later.

Low was charged in the Sessions Court in 1999 with allegedly instructing a representative of Sime Securities Sdn Bhd to buy Repco shares by taking up any offer price for the shares by sellers on the then Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange.

This was an act calculated to create a misleading appearance with respect to the price of Repco shares on the share market.

Low, who is from Kota Kinabalu, was alleged to have committed the offence at the 21st floor of Sime Securities, Bangunan Sime Bank in Jalan Sultan Sulaiman, Kuala Lumpur on Dec 3, 1997.

On Nov 14, 2006, the Sessions Court acquitted Low without ordering him to enter his defence after finding that the charge against him was defective.

On Oct 15, 2010, the High Court dismissed the prosecution’s appeal and upheld Low’s acquittal.

However, in 2013, following an appeal by the SC, the Court of Appeal unanimously overturned the decision by the High Court and Sessions Court to acquit Low over manipulating the price of Repco.

Low was then ordered to enter his defence at the Sessions Court. Throughout the course of the 17-year case, nearly 30 witnesses were called from both sides, including stock market and stock valuation experts.

*****************

Let us not add the political bit into the equation, which could be for another day.

Rumours compounded through the vines are pointing towards that Low is expected to stand up against the judgment and sentencing, then many capital and financial market payers and experts would reflect how SC make the interpretation of the Capital and Securities Markets Act 2007 (CMSA).

This is an interesting synopsis of the longest stock manipulation case in the country, probably the world.

Thursday, 28 February 2013

“Repco Low”: Justice delayed is justice denied

Article from Malaysian Insider’s website, in chronological sequence:
Low (former executive chairman of Repco Holdings Bhd) was alleged to have instructed a representative of Sime Securities Sdn Bhd to buy Repco Holdings shares by taking up any offer price of the shares by sellers on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange.

This was an act calculated to create a misleading appearance with respect to the price of Repco shares on the share market.

He committed the offence at the 21st floor of Sime Securities, Bangunan Sime Bank in Jalan Sultan Sulaiman, Kuala Lumpur between 11am and 5pm on Dec 3, 1997.
Low was charged in the Sessions Court in 1999
On Nov 14, 2006, the Sessions Court acquitted Low without ordering him to enter his defence after finding that the charge against him was defective.
On Oct 15, 2010, the High Court dismissed the prosecution’s appeal and upheld Low’s acquittal.
February 28, 2013: The Court of Appeal here today ordered businessman Low Thiam Hock, popularly known as Repco Low, to enter his defence on a charge of share manipulation.
Every old hand (and I am myself one) remembered the “Wild West” days when Repco was trading above RM 100.

I still remembered a buy-recommendation from my broker (TA Securities) at around RM 110, with a price target of RM 160 (I can’t remember the exact details, but roughly these numbers should be correct).

It all had to do with a lottery license which might or might not get approved. However, bubbles don’t last forever, and reality did strike, also for Repco’s share price.

In 1995 Repco was trading at RM 4.36, this is what happened:

“At the Sessions Court, expert witnesses testified that the price of Repco, which opened at RM108.50 per lot closed at RM113 on Dec 3, 1997.

The very next day, the court heard, when there were no buying activities, the price tumbled to RM110 and further dropped to RM11.20 in three weeks.”

The offence allegedly took place in 1997, but 16 years later the court case is still on going? Quite unbelievable. As they say, “Justice delayed is Justice denied”.

The Securities Commission has initiated another case which also involved “Repco Low”, the article can be found here.

“From September 2005 to May 2006, the price of Iris shares rose by 17 times from eight sen to close at a high of RM1.36 on the back of very strong demand with an average of 200 million shares being traded daily.

The SC’s investigation found that the manipulation was carried out through a complex layering of the origination of the orders and transactions via foreign intermediaries in several jurisdictions”

***********************

It is believed many of the capital and financial market players in Malaysia and all over the region, would stand up for the principles that Low is standing by and for, defying the interpretation of the charge of the CMSA and rejected technicalities to explain the ‘manipulation’ bit.

They would be affected too since the precedence from this case would affect them and automatically greatly impair the players to go into bourses, to acquire stocks which are offered openly in the market.

Let us follow this case closely and watch what shall transpire from the details about the case.

More interestingly, how the case was probably a sting operation by an authority which  strategic and key personnel then were handpicked  and stood loyal as  imperial guards by then the monster which Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad created; Anwar bin Ibrahim.

Published in: on January 14, 2016 at 23:59  Leave a Comment  

It is time for everyone to pull their socks, together

It is the time for everyone to put their personal and political interest aside and come together as nation is in peril, mainly due to unavoidable external factors such as the sundry of global economic recession, escalating geo-political conflict, low global demands, sluggish global financial and capital markets.

NST story:

Najib: 2016 Budget to be adjusted in line with global economic developments

[VIDEO] 8 JANUARY 2016 @ 9:56 AM

PUTRAJAYA: The 2016 Budget will be adjusted soon, taking into account the current global economic developments.

Announcing this today, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the strengthening of the US dollar, plummeting oil prices and major commodities, as well as the shrinking of major economies such as China, were among the factors taken into consideration.

“When I tabled the 2016 Budget, oil prices were at US$48 a barrel. Yesterday, the price was US$31.58. “As such, the 2016 Budget will have to undergo a recalibration in line with the current economic situation.

“I do not want to paint an unrealistic picture that isn’t based on facts. “It is better to be honest and upfront in our responsibility to uphold the best interests of the rakyat,” he said in a special assembly with Finance Ministry staff this morning.

Najib, who is also Finance Minister, described 2016 as a challenging year, especially in terms of the economy. He said the Goods and Services Tax (GST) net revenue for 2016 is expected to reach RM39 billion.

Najib said had the GST not been implemented, Malaysia’s deficit would increase to 4.8 per cent instead of 3.1 per cent this year.

Read More : http://www.nst.com.my/news/2016/01/121079/najib-2016-budget-be-adjusted-line-global-economic-developments-video

*************

The Star story:

Friday, 8 January 2016 | MYT 9:41 AM

Najib: Budget 2016 to be recalibrated

BY MAZWIN NIK ANIS

PUTRAJAYA: The 2016 Budget will be “recalibrated” to reflect the current eco‎nomic climate, says Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

The Prime Minister said that adjustments would have to be made to this year’s budget as much had changed since it was tabled last October.

“This is to ensure that it is accurate, realistic and according to the economic situation we are currently facing,” he said when addressing Finance Ministry staff on Friday.

Najib, however, did not give a specific date when the adjusted Budget would be presented, but indicated that this would be done soon.

The changes would include additional measures to be taken to optimise expenditure and the role of Government-linked companies.

The Prime Minister assured that despite the adjustments to the 2016 Budget, the people’s well-being would continue to be the Government’s priority.

*************

The nation needs the resources, energy and attention of everyone. The Government is preparing to realign the planned economy 2016, which needed to take into the consideration all the volatility and changes in the variables.

The firms, enterprises and commercial entities must do their bit to ensure the Government is successful in bracing the the economic crunch. Despited the forecast GDP growth is still good, the slide of earlier projected GDP growth with revision from 4.5-4.8% to 3.1-3.4% is telling about the brunt on the Federal Government income.

When Budget 2015 was prepared before Oct 2015, it was projected the crude oil would be at USD48.00 per barrel. Today, the Federal Government is ready to a revised projection of a barrel of crude oil for USD32-35.00.

That would translate to a reduction of revenue for the Federal Government by RM4.5billion.

Federal Government is committed that existing essential subsidies such as a list of food items, medicines, gas for energy, oil and other subsistence such as BR1M and other programs, shall not be reduced.

Prime Minister Najib did ask all Federal Government arms to look into reduction of spending and lowering cost of operation, without impairing service especially to the rakyat.

Hence, the reduction of income would naturally be mitigated with trying into increase revenue from heightening productivity of economic activities, other direct and indirect taxes and lowering spending (such as allowing concession holders to increase charges in lieu of compensation).

On top of that, utilising reserves to reduce and treatment against long term financial commitments.

Improving the collection of revenue would definitely help and tight controls against leakages, wastage and excesses would be the combined compounded variables towards a more positive position of the Treasury coffer.

Tighter enforcement is a boon for revenue of regulators, local authorities, law enforcement agencies and all revenue collection entities be it in the Federal or State Governments.

In all, it is a responsibility of all. Politicians (ruling, opposition and independent), civil servants, GLCs, MNCs, private sectors, SMEs/SMIs, petty traders, workers union, all and sundry to pull up their socks.

Published in: on January 8, 2016 at 23:00  Comments (2)  

A sound decision

Minister in-charge of Islamic Affairs in the Prime Minister’s Department Maj. Gen. Dato’ Seri Jamil Khir Baharom admitted the Tabung Haji parcel for luxury residence in Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) which was with malice made contentious by a rogue blogger slightly over six months ago, is too valuable to be hived away.

The Malay Mail online story:

LTH land in TRX too profitable to sell, minister says

Tuesday December 29, 2015

 

 

According to Malaysiakini, the minister said this in a parliamentary reply on December 3 when explaining the delay behind the fund’s plan in May to sell the 1.56-acre plot.

“The land at TRX has high value in terms of integrated development, strategic location and return on investments,” Jamil Khir was quoted saying in the reply to PAS’s Temerloh MP Nasrudin Hassan.

The minister, citing news reports, also said that LTH had purchased the plot for RM2,773 per square foot (psf) when other buyers paid between RM3,000psf and RM4,500psf.

He added that the purchase is expected to rake in an estimated profit of about RM177.5 million.

Nasrudin had reportedly asked Putrajaya to explain why LTH had delayed selling the TRX land.

LTH had purchased the land from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) for RM188.5 million in April but was subjected to much scrutiny from various parties for allegedly using public funds to bail out the state investor.

The pilgrimage fund made a decision to immediately sell off the land soon after but Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak insisted in August that LTH was making a mistake by doing so.

He instead said the negative perception towards TRX and the land deal was created by people with bad intentions, who wanted to “create negative perception on the deal”.

LTH has yet to sell off the land despite promising to do so by end of May.

****************

In early May, a blogger with the malicious intent to demonise Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak’s leadership broke a story which revealed part truth of TH acquisition of the 67,954 sq. ft. parcel for strategic commercial purpose. It was portrayed that monies of old and poor folks saved in the TH scheme was “Plundered by pirates, to cover for 1MDB financial scandals”.

Undoubtedly, it was with the malice intent to rile up the Malays against Prime Minister Najib and topple him.

As an immediate reaction, TH Chairman Dato’ Seri Azeez Rahim announced that the parcel would be hived off quickly, to recover the investment and bring the matter to rest.

It is a very sound decision to keep the plot. The potential of TRX is enormous. It is proven with the various interest shown and deals quickly taken up, for strategic commercial investments with the newest luxury district within Kuala Lumpur.

Published in: on December 30, 2015 at 14:03  Comments (1)  

Bridging the Gap

Minister of Rural and Regional Development Dato’ Seri Ismail Sabri Yaacob initiative to give a leg up to Bumiputera ICT traders and retailers as part of the Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak’s policy of empowering the Bumiputera economy, has transpired with the initial success of MARA Digitial.

The above the expected demand and sales of the Bumiputera ICT traders and retailers’  first ten days provided the initiative good motivation to replicate the program to other states, despite skepticism.

Channel News Asia story:

Mixed reactions to Malaysia’s first digital mall for Bumiputera traders

The MARA Digital Mall in Kuala Lumpur is the first of a series of Bumiputera-only malls planned across the nation. It is part of the nation’s longstanding policy of affirmative action for ethnic Malays and indigenous groups.

By Sumisha Naidu, Malaysia Correspondent, Channel NewsAsia
Posted 18 Dec 2015 21:43 Updated 18 Dec 2015 22:21

KUALA LUMPUR: In early December, Malaysia launched its “first” digital mall exclusively for traders who are Bumiputera, the collective term for the ethnic Malays and indigenous groups who make up the majority of the Malaysian population.

For six months, shop-owners at the MARA Digital Mall in Kuala Lumpur will not have to pay rent, all part of Rural and Regional Development Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s plans to help “disadvantaged” Bumiputera entrepreneurs break into a lucrative market.

At a press conference, he said: “The opportunities for Bumiputera at other IT malls are scarce. At other IT malls, the rent is too high so the ability of Bumiputera entrepreneurs to rent these places are limited. And the opportunities given for Bumiputera entrepreneurs to rent at these malls are very limited. So we have to provide a place where they can afford the rent and so on.”

The launch of the Bumiputera mall comes months after a protest in July, sparked by a petty theft case at Low Yat Plaza, a digital mall occupied primarily by ethnic Chinese traders.

The mainly Malay protesters accused Chinese traders of swindling Malay customers by overcharging them and selling counterfeit products. In September, these claims were echoed by another group of Malay protesters outside Petaling Street, also known as Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown.

Minister Ismail Sabri then announced plans for the mall in Kuala Lumpur that would give Malay and other Bumiputera traders a level playing field. He said the wheels are now in motion for more such malls to be set up across the country.

It is an idea that has been welcomed by Malay traders who say they have faced discrimination.

“Sometimes when you apply to rent out shop lots, the mall will see what company you’re from, if you’re Malay … If you are, they’ll put aside your application first and prioritise Chinese,” one security camera shop worker told Channel NewsAsia.

Other Malaysians, however, have ridiculed the move on social media.

CHAMPIONING MALAY INTERESTS

But policies championing the rights and advancement of the “native” people of Malaysia are nothing new. The New Economic Policy detailing affirmative action policies was introduced in the 1970s and UMNO, the largest party in the only ruling coalition Malaysia has ever known, is dedicated to championing Malay interests and their “special position”, as recognised in the constitution.

These are policies that have caused tensions in the past among Malaysia’s multi-ethnic population, which includes Chinese and Indians who have lived in the nation for generations.

One of the fiercest advocates for the need for affirmative action for Bumiputera was the nation’s longest-serving prime minister, Dr Mahathir Mohamad. But speaking to his supporters on the sidelines of December’s UMNO General Assembly, Dr Mahathir lamented that current Prime Minister Najib Razak had replaced his pro-Bumiputera policies with a more inclusive “1Malaysia” approach.

He accused the Prime Minister of taking away more scholarship spots from needy Malays and giving them to the ethnic Chinese. “1Malaysia means priority is no longer given to Malays and Bumiputeras so that they can improve their economic prospects so they are at the same level as Chinese,” he said.

“I don’t hate other ethnicities but the fact of the matter is they’re richer, they have more opportunities than us,” added Dr Mahathir.

But analyst Amir Fareed Rahim from the KRA Group said that while ethnic Malays may still have some catching up to do in certain areas, it may be time to revisit the notion of socio-economic disparities based on ethnicity.

He told Channel NewsAsia: “There is a growing gap between the rich and the poor in Malaysia and when this happens, you must not look at it from a racial point of view but look at it from an economic perspective. You should help alleviate everyone into a better economic standard rather than looking into races and trying to champion certain causes.”

“IT WILL DESTROY THE SOCIAL FABRIC OF MALAYSIA”

Still, the special position of Bumiputera remains a no-compromise area for many UMNO members and its voter base.

Dr Mahathir accused Mr Najib of suddenly espousing “Malayness” at the recent UMNO AGM because he is “desperate” to win their support.

The Prime Minister and UMNO chairman has been fighting off unproven allegations of corruption, many of them hurled against him by Dr Mahathir himself.

At his opening speech at the general assembly, Mr Najib pledged greater efforts to help Bumiputera and boasted of UMNO’s success in getting the special privileges of Bumiputera recognised at an international level through the 12-nation free trade agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

He told UMNO delegates: “We have made history whereby the TPP members have accepted and acknowledged the Bumiputera policy as part of the terms to the TPP on a global level. This means the UMNO struggle has succeeded, and the Bumiputera agenda is no longer just a national agenda. Now the Bumiputera agenda has been elevated and acknowledged on an international level.”

During the same speech, Mr Najib extended an olive branch to Islamist party PAS, a former member of the now-defunct opposition alliance Pakatan Rakyat.

The move has been viewed as the first steps toward a potential alliance with PAS that could shore up a solid win for UMNO in the next general elections – due by 2018 – thanks to PAS’ strong Malay-Muslim voter base.

But analysts cautioned that this partnership would not be well-received by Malaysia’s non-Muslim population, especially because of PAS’ well-known push to implement a Shariah penal code in the nation.

UMNO’s partners in ruling coalition Barisan Nasional, the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) and the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC), are unlikely to be supportive of the move either.

Said Mr Amir: “This PAS-UMNO cooperation in theory makes sense for UMNO. But we must ask the question, at what cost? We understand in the political field that when you go into absolutes, going for the totality of votes for one single segment of society, then you lose the bigger picture.

“The PAS-UMNO cooperation, though it may benefit Malay parties in the short run, in the long run, it will destroy the social fabric of Malaysia. It will create a very hegemonic Malay polity that is not what the founding fathers had in mind when this nation was founded.”

But the ethnic minority vote may now be a low priority for UMNO, after significant swings by Chinese voters toward the Opposition at the last general election.

– CNA/ms

****************

Some of the traders and retailers in the new MARA Digital managed to source their products from the importers without middlemen, thus able to pass to the consumers a wider range of competitive products and offerings.

This program should be nurtured further beyond the 6 months rent-free as announced by the Minister, with agencies for the development of Bumiputera entrepreneurial and commercial programs coming up with new packages and commercial development programs.

Good financing and letter of credit would enable the expansion of sourcing of goods. Technical support is also a key ingredient of after sales and maintenance program. These would provide upstream the economies of scale, which would be translated in competitive goods offered to consumer.

There on, it should be infused with programs such as vendor and franchise development to enable more Bumiputera traders and retailers be created.

The critics should appreciate this affirmative action program is a progressive form of positive discrimination.

Malaysians should support Ismail Sabri’s blue ocean strategy, as a next phase to the development for the New Economic Policy for the Bumiputera to participate in the retail sector, originally brought forth by Second Prime Minister Tun Hj Abdul Razak Hussein.

Published in: on December 19, 2015 at 18:00  Leave a Comment  

The affordable abode agenda

image

The SPV to implement Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak’s targeted policy of affordable housing to the middle income and urban dwellers, Perumahan Rakyat 1 Malaysia Bhd. (PR1MA), would be organising an exposition this weekend.

It is part of their gearing up, to get more of the target group to expect on the offerings that would be made for the middle income and urban dwellers, in major metropolitan areas.

As part of the Government Transformation Plan (GTP) to serve the dwellings for middle income earners (categorised between RM2,500-RM10,000 per month) in strategic urban areas, to be able to afford housing (RM100,000-400,000 per units band).

image

The middle income lot, are the most adversely affected in propulsion of rapid growth of the economy particularly in the urban areas. Properties are getting way out of their affordability and this gap is widening.

Hence, Prime Minister Najib intended to address the problem by the creation of PR1MA through the PR1MA Act (2012), for the SPV to acquire lands formerly belonging to Federal Government and State Government agencies, to be developed for a small margin.

This is to ensure these units are more affordable, compared to similar products if it were to be developed by private developers, which are motivated on profits.

PR1MA expects to deliver 10,000 units by next year. There are 65,000 units under work in progress and so far, the PR1MA has already approved 227,000 units for development is the various working relationship established.

That is not to bad after all. When it was first started, they aimed for 80,000 units per annum to be sorted out and developed.

As announced in Prime Minister’s Bajet 2016 speech, the program is being intensified:

Utusan Malaysia story:

PR1MA perlu kerjasama pemaju swasta bina 175,000 unit rumah

29 Oktober 2015 12:52 AM

PETALING JAYA 28 Okt. – Perbadanan PR1MA Malaysia (PR1MA) memerlukan lebih banyak kerjasama daripada pemaju swasta bagi membina 175,000 unit rumah mampu milik pada tahun hadapan seperti yang diumumkan Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak dalam Bajet 2016.
Ketua Pegawai Eksekutifnya, Datuk Abdul Mutalib Alias berkata, pada masa ini PR1MA memerlukan kawasan seluas 1,740 hektar bagi menyempurnakan projek berkenaan dan diharapkan menerusi kerjasama tersebut masalah ini dapat diatasi.
“Isu tanah adalah isu utama dalam pembinaan rumah. Tanah yang diberikan kerajaan Persekutuan agak terhad dan hendak mendapatkan tanah daripada kerajaan negeri juga sukar dari segi prosesnya.
“Sebab itu, kita alu-alukan kerjasama daripada pihak pemaju swasta kerana mereka ini sudah ada tanah. Bagaimanapun mereka perlulah memenuhi spesifikasi yang ditetapkan PR1MA iaitu unit rumah yang hendak ditawarkan mestilah antara 20 dan 30 peratus lebih rendah daripada harga pasaran,” katanya dalam taklimat mengenai Ekspo Rumah PR1MA 2015, di sini hari ini.
Menurut Abdul Mutalib, kerjasama dengan pemaju swasta itu juga dilihat dapat mengatasi permintaan tinggi orang ramai terhadap rumah PR1MA.
Beliau berkata, ketika ini terdapat kira-kira 1.05 juta pemohon berdaftar untuk mendapatkan 198,489 unit rumah PR1MA yang sedang dan akan dibina di seluruh negara.
“Daripada jumlah itu, 6,172 unit terletak di Kuala Lumpur dengan 4,636 unit sedang dalam proses pembinaan.
“Sebanyak 19,591 unit pula terletak di sekitar Selangor dengan 5,081 dalam pembinaan diikuti 560 unit di Putrajaya,” ujarnya.
Dalam pada itu, beliau berkata, PR1MA akan mengadakan Ekspo Rumah PR1MA 2015 di Pusat Perdagangan Antarabangsa Melaka (MITC), Melaka selama tiga hari bermula 30 Oktober ini.
“Ekspo ini merupakan sebahagian daripada siri jelajah untuk memberikan maklumat interaktif me­ngenai produk dan perkhidmatan kami kepada orang ramai,” katanya.
– See more at: http://www.utusan.com.my/berita/nasional/pr1ma-perlu-kerjasama-pemaju-swasta-bina-175-000-unit-rumah-1.151779#sthash.PDW4aL60.dpuf

***************

When PR1MA first started, the deliverable set was 80,000 units per annum. The BoD of PR1MA, which comprises a mixture of top civil servants and some corporate leaders, upheld the deliverable.

Currently, there are 190 projects running simultaneously to deliver all the targeted 240,00 homes within the next three years and the same for the next corresponding period.

Published in: on November 24, 2015 at 12:01  Comments (2)  

Bad act of failed bastardisation

Nazir Razak's comment on social media about 1MDB alleged fees to Goldman Sachs

Nazir Razak’s comment on social media about 1MDB alleged fees to Goldman Sachs

CIMB Chairman Dato’ Seri Nazir Razak has been caught with his pants down again on another failed act of bastardisation, in his sordid rhetoric attempt to portray an adversarial position against the reality. This time, on the alleged fees paid by 1MDB for commecial papers issued and raising of funds.

The Star story:

Published: Sunday November 15, 2015 MYT 8:22:00 PM
Updated: Sunday November 15, 2015 MYT 8:54:25 PM

Nazir Razak removes Instagram post on inaccurate headline

 

BY VICTORIA BROWN

PETALING JAYA: Datuk Seri Nazir Razak (pic) has removed an Instagram post based on an inaccurate headline published by The Malaysian Insider regarding 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) after the news portal amended its previous heading.

“Note that I have removed previous post because TMI (The Malaysian Insider) corrected its article about what 1MDB CEO said,” according to Nazir in an Instagram post Sunday.

The Malaysian Insider had initially placed their headline as “RM5 billion Goldman Sachs fees over five years, says 1MDB boss” before changing their headline to “RM5 billion costs for debts over 5 years, says 1MDB boss”.

“So, it was not the anticipated disclosure of total fees paid to GS (Goldman Sachs) – guess we still have to wait for PAC/AG report,” said Nazir.

“This is important for a full understanding of what transpired and how we go forwards,” he added.

1MDB president Arul Kanda Kandasamy provided a detailed briefing on 1MDB at the Forum Perdana in the Putra World Trade Centre on Saturday.

In a statement, 1MDB said that the briefing was open to all Malaysians and was covered by various media organisations including alternative media.

However, 1MDB noted the inaccurate headline by The Malaysian Insider that has been “widely and wrongly circulated in an Instagram posting that appears to have originated from one Dato’ Sri Nazir Razak”.

****************

1MDB Group Executive Director and President Arul Kanda’s media conference on Malaysia Insider’s story based on Nazir’s social media comment:

 

Media statement by 1Malaysia Development Berhad

Issued on 14 November 2015
For immediate publication

Clarification: Forum Perdana on 14 November 2015

At the Forum Perdana in PWTC earlier today, Arul Kanda, the President & Group Executive Officer of 1MDB, provided a detailed briefing on 1MDB and replied without reservation to various pointed and pertinent questions raised by the audience. This briefing was open to all Malaysians and covered by various media organisations, including alternative media.

1MDB regrets to note that one wrong headline relating to financial costs by The Malaysian Insider (which was subsequently corrected),  appears to have been widely and wrongly circulated, including in an Instagram posting that appears to have originated from one Dato’ Sri Nazir Razak.

Further, 1MDB notes that a number of online news portals and certain bloggers have in the course of today raised queries relating to the Brazen Sky fund unit redemptions, which was another topic covered at the briefing.

1MDB repeats below, clarifications that have previously been issued on both matters, to reiterate the facts of the matter.

1.      Financial Costs

1MDB had previously published a table (which was shared again at the Forum Perdana today), showing the use of its RM42 billion of debt. In this table, there is a line item “Financial Costs” with a total of RM5.8 billion, between the years 2009-2014. The vast majority of this cost relates to interest payments, for example, RM2.4 billion in 2013-2014 and RM1.6 billion in 2012-2013. The remainder of the costs comprise interest between 2009 and2012, working capital costs, amortised fees, foreign exchange costs and tax paid by the company’s energy subsidiaries.

2.      Fund Unit Redemptions

As of 31 March 2014, the fund units in a Cayman registered fund, owned by 1MDB subsidiary Brazen Sky, were valued at US$2.33 billion.  On 5 November 2014, at the time 1MDB’s financial statements for the year ended 31 March 2014 were published, an amount of approximately US$1.22 billion had been redeemed, in cash, with proceeds being substantially utilised for debt interest payment, working capital and payments to Aabar as refundable deposits for options termination.

On 14 and 24 November 2014, approximately US$170 million of the fund units were redeemed, in cash. Accordingly, approx. US$1.4 billion of fund units were redeemed, in cash, leaving a balance of approximately US$940 million in fund units.

On 2 January 2015, a final redemption of approximately US$940 million was undertaken through a sale of fund units to Aabar, with cash payment being deferred. This 2 January fund unit sale agreement was subsequently superceded (i.e. replaced) by the Binding Term Sheet that was signed on 27 May 2015 between 1MDB and IPIC, the “AA” rated parent of Aabar, upon which a payment of US$1 billion was made by IPIC to 1MDB.

1MDB has previously stated, and reiterates, that the remaining US$940 million of fund units will form part of the US$ cash deposits and US$ fund unit assets to be transferred by 1MDB to IPIC, for the “debt for asset swap”, in which IPIC will then take over 1MDB debt of approximately  RM 16 billion.

********

The said screen shots on the pro-Anwarista news portal, which were amended in fear of repercussion of lying or false reporting again.

image

The earlier screen captures of the story in various versions:

image

The pro-Anwarista stories, which were done suspiciously done to mislead and cause the further confusion, in the strategy to demonise Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak’s administration.

The ‘revised story’:

RM5 billion costs for debts over 5 years, says 1MDB boss

BY RAM ANAND

Published: 14 November 2015 12:56 PM | Updated: 14 November 2015 8:45 PM

 

Arul Kanda said that the financial charges grew in tandem with 1MDB’s debts.

“The RM5 billion was over give years, it is not the cost of one year,” he said during a briefing session organised by Umno earlier today.
He was asked earlier why the financial charges were high and amounted to more than 10% of the total debt.
“When we started out, the debt was not immediately RM42 billion. So the higher the debt got, the financial charges increased.”

He denied that the financial charges were 10% as claimed.

“For 2014, the financial charges were RM2.4 billion. This was included in the overall RM5 billion figure. Hence, it is not 10%.”

Arul Kanda said 1MDB’s debts would be reduced significantly by year-end. – November 14, 2015.

* Editor’s note: This report has been corrected after clarification from 1Malaysia Development Berhad president Arul Kanda Kandasamy

– See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/rm5-billion-goldman-sachs-fees-over-5-years-says-1mdb-boss#sthash.Wr5nlOlA.dpuf

************

The only reason the pro-Anwarista changed its stories is because to avoid legal action. The writers should not be reminded of their advertisements made in mainstream media four years ago.

Then it is baffling on this round of instagram statement by Nazir. We are not sure why he raised about the alleged RM5 billion fees paid to Goldman Sachs for various work the New York based investment bank did for 1MDB.

However, it is more than fair to assume that Nazir as the Chairman of BoD, former Group CEO of CIMB and a career investment banker (who managed to bring up CIMB from a merchant bank to the takeover the parent banking group), would have access to better information such as the subject matter than many other persons.

Nazir isn’t a novice at the faux pax game against 1MDB. Then again, the occurrence of these shooting-from-the-hip (mostly via social media account) is too bloody frequent from a respected banking chief executive, to be a mere faux pas.

A professional don’t usually take pot shots or clown on things like this. More over, the Chairman of banking group which is a GLC (government like company) stature.

It suspiciously looked like it is part of the game to demonise 1MDB.

The Star story:

Published: Monday June 29, 2015 MYT 6:38:00 PM
Updated: Monday June 29, 2015 MYT 7:10:49 PM

Nazir Razak ‘seeking the truth’ on Instagram

Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 10.59.26 PM

BY AKIL YUNUS

PETALING JAYA: A cryptic photo expressing hope that Malaysians will soon get the “truth” they have been deprived of has been posted by Datuk Seri Nazir Razak (pic) on his Instagram account.

Posting an image of a sign board bearing the words, “Truth. Next exit”, the CIMB group chairman wrote; “I hope so. Our institutions must get us there quickly. Malaysians feeling truth-deprived, depressing and divisive. After truth we can find reconciliation,” he said without elaborating further.

The posting on Monday afternoon had received more than 200 likes two hours later.

Nazir, who is the younger brother of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, has been actively speaking out on the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) controversy.

In May, he had slammed 1MDB’s top executives for failing to turn up for the Public Accounts Committee hearing.

He also previously questioned the state investment arm’s lateness in beginning its March 2015 audit.

More recently, Nazir has been linked with the setting up of a new non-governmental organisation with like-minded individuals such as Global Movement of Moderates chief executive officer Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah over concerns regarding Malaysia’s present socio-political landscape.

**********

and more of them:

The Star story:

Published: Tuesday May 26, 2015 MYT 10:37:00 AM
Updated: Tuesday May 26, 2015 MYT 4:18:49 PM

Nazir Razak slams 1MDB board on Instagram

BY EDWARD GOMEZandJOHAN HULAIMI

PETALING JAYA: It is unacceptable that 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB)’s top executives are unable to attend the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) inquiry, says Datuk Seri Nazir Razak (pic).

In a post on Instagram on Tuesday, Nazir, the younger brother of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, slammed 1MDB’s president and group executive director Arul Kanda Kandasamy as well as its former CEO Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi for not being able to attend the PAC inquiry.

The CIMB group chairman had posted a picture of the front page of a financial news daily with the comment: “Your company has triggered a national crisis and you can be too busy to face Parliament? Unacceptable.”

On Monday, the PAC set a new date for Arul and Shahrol to appear.

The two have sought a month’s extension before they face the committee, which had been set to meet them on Tuesday.

The PAC was notified by the Finance Ministry that Arul and Shahrol were unable to attend as they were away on official business.

PAC chairman Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed told the media on Monday, “They requested 30 days … We may give them less.”

*************

Otherwise, he is out to be part of the strategy to demonise his own eldest brother.

The Malay Mail Online story:

Put country and people before self, Nazir Razak urges

Monday July 6, 2015
08:22 AM GMT+8
The CIMB Group chairman who is also Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s brother, Datuk Seri Nazir Razak (pic), sent the message via the Instagram photo-sharing service as a caption to the image of the national monument. — Reuters pic
KUALA LUMPUR, July 6 — The prime minister’s brother, Datuk Seri Nazir Razak, yesterday made a plea to unnamed individuals to put the country’s interests before their own during these “dark political times”.

The CIMB Group chairman and avid social media commentator sent the message via the Instagram photo-sharing service as a caption to the image of the national monument.

“They gave their lives so we could build a nation. In this darkest of political times we must remember to place the country & the rakyat first.

“Not personal interests, not personal loyalties, not even party politics,” he wrote.

Nazir did not identify the intended recipients of his message.

A screen capture showing Datuk Seri Nazir Razak's instagram post.

A screen capture showing Datuk Seri Nazir Razak’s instagram post.

The brother to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has in recent months been an outspoken figure on the topic of corporate governance, regularly criticising 1 Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) over what he considers shortcomings in the manner they conduct their affairs.

1MDB is under investigation by at least four federal agencies.

The latest development in the 1MDB controversy is an allegation by the Wall Street Journal that US$700 million (RM2.6 billion) of the firm’s funds were wired into the prime minister’s personal accounts.

Najib denied the report and said he will take legal action against the US newspaper tomorrow.

– See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/put-country-and-people-before-self-nazir-razak-urges#sthash.LooJVGjR.dpuf

****************

All these one-way-street jibes from the Chairman and former Group CEO of the second largest Malaysian banking group is really bad for perception. Be it politically, corporate or even for average man on the street.

If Nazir as a person who is aloof and incoherent on what effects social media statements brought forth the strategic consideration, then probably he or his good office hire consultants to look into the matter.

A damning IG statement by a Chairman of a GLC banking group

A damning IG statement by a Chairman of a GLC banking group

It is important to note that CIMB is part of Khazanah Nasional Bhd (Khazanah)., the Federal Government corporation which holds the investment and strategically manages strategic GLCs. Prime Minister Najib is the Chairman of Khazanah.

This attitude and actions by Nazir is intolerable. If Nazir is not supportive of some of the Federal Government policies and has issues of retaining his personal opinion of some of these matters in the public domain, then he should leave the Khazanah Group.

There is already a precedence within the CIMB Group.

The Star story:

Published: Tuesday July 14, 2015 MYT 6:49:00 PM
Updated: Tuesday July 14, 2015 MYT 7:04:39 PM

CIMB Islamic Bank chief Badlisyah resigns

KUALA LUMPUR: CIMB Islamic Bank chief executive officer Badlisyah Abdul Ghani (pic), who is facing an internal probe for his Facebook posting on banking documents released by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), has resigned.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, CIMB Group Holdings Bhd said his resignation as CEO and board member would be effective Aug 15.

CIMB in a statement Tuesday said CIMB Islamic Bank’s board had elected Mohd Shafri Shahul Hamid as person-in-charge of the bank and the group nomination and remuneration committee will start the process to identify the next CEO for the bank.

CIMB Islamic Bank board chairman Datuk Dr Syed Muhammad Syed A. Kadir said; “We respect Badlisyah’s decision. Since his appointment in 2006, Badlisyah has strengthened our global Islamic banking franchise and we are now well positioned globally to tackle the challenges and opportunities ahead of us. The board and I are grateful to Badlisyah for his leadership, integrity and contribution to the group. We wish him well for the future and the next stage in his career.”

Badlisyah had cast doubts on the authenticity of the documents WSJ used for its reports on 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

He subsequently released a statement admitting his analysis was wrong and that the views expressed on his Facebook page were strictly his personal opinion.

CIMB group chairman Datuk Seri Nazir Razak later said in an Instagram posting that Badlisyah should not have commented on the documents as it was a technical matter and an internal inquiry had been ordered on the matter.

Badlisyah, who is also Association of Islamic Banking Institutions Malaysia president, claimed that the bank document said to be from a Wells Fargo Bank N.A. branch in New York was not authentic as it bore the wrong Swift code. A Swift code is a code that helps overseas banks identify which bank to send money to.

Earlier this month, WSJ had published an article quoting an “unnamed investigator” that claimed almost US$700mil (RM2.63bil) of 1MDB funds were channelled into Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s personal accounts. Najib’s lawyers then sent a clarification demand to the board of directors of Dow Jones and Company Inc, which publishes WSJ.

*************

Nazir shouldn’t needed to be reminded that it was reported about his comment on Badlisyah’s Facebook posting. Unless, the CIMB Chairman could convince Khazanah, CIMB Group BoD and the public at large that the instagram account isn’t his personal social media account, it was cloned or hijacked or “@nazir.razak” is not him.

He should be able to differentiate his expected obligations as part of the upper echelon within the Khazanah Group from his personal opinion, position and/or stance, even as the perspective of a trained banker. More over, he has very direct blood relations to the Chairman of Khazanah.

The IG of the pseudo politician, banker supremo

The IG of the pseudo politician, banker supremo

It is shameful that he does not respect this. Nor, when all these could be aggregated and permute to the perception of his consistent attempts to bastardise, especially when his damming statements are not even correct in facts and the context.

Even and unless Nazir actually has a dark and hidden political ambition. It is apt with his remarkably reflecting politically-styled statements more befitting and echoing in the tones of notable Opposition politicians, namely Anwar Ibrahim, Tony Pua and Rafizi Rahim.

*Updated 2245hrs

Published in: on November 15, 2015 at 21:00  Comments (6)  

The strategy to preserve strategic interest of the nation

It has now reached the cross road about the strategy of the preservation of the strategic interest of the nation, with the decision to retain Edra Global Energy Bhd. within the control of Malaysians or allow foreigners to inch their way in, as part of the 1MDB ‘Rationalisation Plan’.

The Star story:

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Qatar’s Nebras-CGN tie-up said vying with TNB for 1MDB power arm

The overseas bidders had expressed willingness to pay a higher price for the state investment company’s Edra Global Energy Bhd unit than Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB), the people said, asking not to be identified as the negotiations were private.

State-controlled TNB is wary of overpaying because it needed to justify any acquisition to shareholders, one person said. (File pic shows one of the power stations owned by the unit.)

The overseas bidders had expressed willingness to pay a higher price for the state investment company’s Edra Global Energy Bhd unit than Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB), the people said, asking not to be identified as the negotiations were private.

State-controlled TNB is wary of overpaying because it needed to justify any acquisition to shareholders, one person said. (File pic shows one of the power stations owned by the unit.)

KUALA LUMPUR: Qatar’s Nebras Power QSC is in talks to partner with China General Nuclear Power Corp (CGN) in the bidding for 1Malaysia Development Bhd’s power business, people with knowledge of the matter said, potentially pitting a foreign consortium against Malaysia’s biggest listed energy producer.

The overseas bidders had expressed willingness to pay a higher price for the state investment company’s Edra Global Energy Bhd unit than Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB), the people said, asking not to be identified as the negotiations were private.

State-controlled TNB is wary of overpaying because it needed to justify any acquisition to shareholders, one person said. 1MDB, the debt-ridden state investment company that almost defaulted earlier this year, expects RM16bil to RM18bil for the power plants and has received bids close to that figure, president Arul Kanda said Oct 31.

The sale is part of 1MDB’s plan to wind down its operations after it drew criticism from lawmakers for rising borrowings that totalled RM41.9bil as of March 2014.

Foreign investors are normally only allowed to own as much as 49% of Malaysian power producers unless they obtain a waiver as the Government provides gas to electricity plants at subsidised prices.

It’s not yet clear whether foreign bidders for 1MDB’s power plants will be able to obtain an exemption, according to the people. State-owned CGN entered the bidding after its Hong Kong-based clean-energy arm CGN Meiya Power Holdings Co decided not to pursue an offer, according to the people.

A preferred bidder was expected to be chosen this month, two of the people said.

1MDB, whose advisory board is headed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, has said it expected to enter into a definitive agreement with the winning bidder before year-end.

It said “value maximisation” and “deal certainty” would be among the factors that would guide its decision. 1MDB “is bound by confidentiality” and can’t comment further at this time, it said in an e-mailed statement.

The Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment. A spokesman for China General Nuclear declined to comment, while a representative for its main listed unit, CGN Power Co, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. R

epresentatives for Nebras and its controlling shareholder, Qatar Electricity & Water Co, didn’t respond to requests for comment.

TNB, which last month reported that its fourth-quarter profit fell almost 40%, has said its ownership of the 1MDB power plants would ensure “continuing Malaysian control” of those “strategic” assets.

It said 1MDB’s assets would enhance its earnings and cash flow by boosting its domestic power generation capacity and broadening its global presence. 1MDB owns a net generation capacity of 5,594 MW and is the largest independent power producer in Bangladesh and Egypt, according to its website.

Besides investments in plants in Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates, it has 3,112 MW of capacity in Malaysia, making it the nation’s biggest independent power producer after Malakoff Corp. – Bloomberg

******************

It seems that China General Nuclear Power Corp (CGN) has teamed up with Qatar Nebras Power QSC (Nebras), to take on TNB for Edra Energy’s 13 power plants which include five in Malaysia. Intially, CGN through CGN Meiya and Nebras submitted separate bids for Edra Energy.

However, CGN Meiya announced to the Hong Kong bourse that it withdrew and CGN the parent corporation would do the bidding instead.

The Federal Government which is wholly own 1MDB, the parent company of Edra Energy would be the final decision maker. Is the consideration is tactical, which is to settle part of 1MDB’s RM42 billion exposure to financial commitments through various commercial issued or something more strategic than that.

It is without doubt that 1MDB’s financial woes started when the initial plan of the listing of Edra Energy originally slotted about two years ago after a series of acquisition and consolidation of independent power plants (IPPs), did not materialise. So when it was shifted.

As such 1MDB had been laden with the financial commitments to service the borrowings with RM2.4 billion in cash annually.

The Star story:

Published: Saturday October 31, 2015 MYT 2:16:00 PM Updated: Saturday October 31, 2015 MYT 2:45:35 PM

Arul: Failed Edra IPO led to 1MDB’s troubles

BY AFIQ ISA

KUALA LUMPUR: A failed listing exercise for 1Malaysia Development Bhd’s (1MDB) energy assets last year is the main contributor to the firm’s present financial difficulties, said its chief Arul Kanda Kandasamy Saturday.

According to Arul, 1MDB had two targeted dates in which to list the assets, which are now held under its power unit Edra Global Energy Bhd. The first was in November 2013 and another date was set for November last year.

“In both circumstances, for various reasons including internal and external factors, the initial public offering (IPO) did not happen,” he told reporters during a press conference in Kuala Lumpur.

When the IPO failed to materialise, a mismatch arose between the interest charges that needed to be repaid in the short term as well as principal payments, Arul explained.

“That is my answer as to why 1MDB is facing the difficulty and challenges that we are going through today,” he said. Without reducing its current debt load of RM42bil, the cost of servicing the interest on the debt amounts to RM2.4bil per annum, he said.

Arul said that 1MDB plans to get reduce the entirety of this debt by June next year via a series of rationalisation exercises.

The sale of Edra to interested bidders, which is currently ongoing, is expected to reduce between RM16bil to RM20bil in debt from its books. With three bidders submitting final binding proposals, he said that 1MDB is currently negotiating a sale and purchase agreement while the counterparties are conducting due diligence prior to submitting a final offer. “

We expect this to happen in the next two or three weeks,” he said.

****************

Whether or not 1MDB could realise what it expected to get from the initially planned IPO two years should be as strategically important as what the outcome would affect Malaysians, now and in the future.

First and foremost, the capital market is no longer the level it used to be. The very least is the value of Ringgit Malaysia against the greenbacks, which is never about economic fundamentals nor the normal mechanism of foreign exchange.

Cutting loses now and realise it later with other 1MDB projects such as TRX and Bandar Malaysia, could make economic sense unless the consideration also include the political elements and pandering to pressures.

Just like about the part fallacy to pressure for TH to retain the 68,000 sq. ft. parcel for premium residential plot with TRX.

It has believed that TNB’s offer Edra Energy is RM14billion against the newly formed 100% foreign consortium of Qatar Nebras and CGN, at RM17.1billion.

The Edge Markets story:

TNB puts in lowest bid for Edra

By Kamarul Anwar / The Edge Financial Daily |

November 5, 2015 : 8:50 AM MYT

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on November 5, 2015.

KUALA LUMPUR: Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) has put in the lowest bid for the equity of 1Malaysia Development Bhd’s (1MDB) energy arm Edra Global Energy Bhd at slightly above RM8 billion, according to sources familiar with the matter.

The national utility company’s bid is understood to be about 20% lower than the closest competing bid from a foreign consortium, giving the latter an advantage over TNB to win the tender to buy Edra.

The competing bid, which values the equity in Edra at less than RM10 billion, was jointly submitted by a consortium consisting of China’s state-owned company China General Nuclear Power Corp Ltd (CGNPC) and Qatar’s Nebras Power QSC, sources told The Edge Financial Daily.

The two parties had initially come in as separate bidders. With an estimated net debt of RM8.5 billion in Edra’s books, the bids would place an enterprise value of between RM16.5 billion and RM18.5 billion for the energy unit.

1MDB president and chief executive director Arul Kanda Kandasamy previously said that Edra’s assets are valued at between RM15 billion and RM20 billion.

Note that the bidding prices may change slightly, as the final binding bidding deadline for Edra is tomorrow.

Price alone might not be the determining factor as foreign parties are limited to a maximum of 49% equity in local power assets.

However, it has been reported that the foreign bidders are applying to the government to remove the restriction and allow 100% acquisition of Edra’s Malaysian power assets. When contacted, a TNB spokesman declined to confirm the price the company had bid for Edra.

“We are [in] the midst of conducting the confirmatory due diligence process before the final deadline on Friday (tomorrow) for all bidders,” the spokesman said.

TNB president and chief executive officer Datuk Seri Azman Mohd in October said that being the sole offtaker of all power generated in Malaysia, TNB is the best and most logical buyer of Edra’s assets.

Yet, as the 1MDB drama has been a thorny issue among Malaysians, putting in a higher figure could make TNB look like it is bailing out the cash-strapped, debt-ridden 1MDB. Both these entities have a common shareholder which is the Ministry of Finance.

At about RM8 billion, TNB’s bid would meet the ceiling price that PKR’s vice-president and secretary-general Rafizi Ramli wants the government to put a cap on TNB’s purchase of Edra.

The opposition lawmaker yesterday filed a motion in the Parliament to cap TNB’s purchase of Edra at RM8 billion, claiming that it is the market value for Edra’s stable of power plants locally and abroad.

Looking at TNB’s balance sheet as at Aug 31, the utility giant had short-term borrowings of RM1.96 billion and long-term borrowings of RM22.71 billion — against shareholders’ fund of RM47.21 billion. Deducting the cash in hand worth RM2.47 billion, its net gearing level stood at 0.47 times.

In a hypothetical scenario where TNB buys Edra’s assets at RM16.5 billion (paying RM8 billion for the equity while assuming RM8.5 billion in liabilities) by using all the cash it has and borrowings for the rest, TNB’s net debt would amount to RM38.73 billion.

This is equivalent to 0.82 times its equity. With the ringgit still being Asia’s worst-performing currency and having weakened against the US dollar by 21.98% year to date, this would make Edra’s power assets relatively cheap for the CGNPC-Nebras joint venture to acquire.

Combining their balance sheets would also give them more financial muscle to make their bid. Edra has 13 power assets in its current stable, with eight of them located abroad — plus the right to build a 2,000mw gas power plant in Melaka.

In July, TNB (valuation: 1.20; fundamental: 1.30) purchased a 70% stake in Edra’s Jimah East Power Sdn Bhd, the owner of two undeveloped 1,000mw coal-fired power plants better known as Track 3B, for RM46.98 million.

*************

TNB’s offer is made after a due diligence was made and the consideration is about what Khazanah, EPF and KWAP agreed with the consideration on what the shareholders would be willing to fork out for the 13 IPPs, which include 8 abroad.

That is not withstanding that the value is in Ringgit Malaysia unlike Nebras-CGN, is on US Dollars. TNB prepared its budget based on Ringgit Malaysia where else the foreign parties, made their bids on USD. When the bidding process started, USD was at the level of RM3.55 and their original bid of USD3.8b naturally would get prominence since at their end, it did not cost them any extra.

The shrinking of RM against USD automatically placed TNB’s position to be disadvantaged for added the value of the consideration offered by the after-thought foreign consortium, deemed more favourable.

Then again, the beauty contest should be more than just cash.

Second, 1MDB should consider Malaysian first. Edra Energy to be foreign owned means 75% of the value of the group, would be owned and controlled by foreign parties despite on five out of the thirteen IPPs are in Malaysia.

The proposal for Edra Energy is wholesome, which means that would open the doors of the Nebras-CGN to be a player in the Malaysian power production game.

5,590MW is not a small consideration for the Malaysian Government to ignore. It comprises about 47% of TNB’s current production in Semenanjung. Instead of having all that under control of Malaysians, the consideration for power security would change tremendously if Edra Energy is 100% foreign owned and controlled.

Third, the control of Edra Energy would just be a door opener for more acquisition by Nebras-CGN, part there of or related corporations to start to offer other IPPs to be foreign controlled too. That is eroding the strategic position of power security for the nation.

It is also believed that Ministry of Finance is supporting the notion that a special provision of exemption of the national energy policy be allowed for the 100% ownership and control of IPPs. Currently, it is at 49%.

TNB Capex

TNB Capex

Fourth point is that acquisition of Edra Energy is factored into TNB’s strategic development in the form of capital expenditure (capex), where the shareholders decided of RM6-8 billion capex per annum within five years.

This acquisition would increase TNB’s current long term gearing ratio against total asset of 35% to between 40-45%. This below the power generation corporation around the region, which is between 60-70%.

It is also interesting to note the weighted average of TNB’s current borrowing is at 4.6%. Comparatively, YTL Power is also at 4.6% and Malakoff at 4.8%.

TNB would strategically lose out to Nebras-CGN since the Chinese are able to secure financing at a cost of less than 3%.

The fifth point is the financial points with regards to TNB acquiring Edra Energy. The acquisition of the group of 13 IPPs is the ability for TNB’s exposure to financial commitments, taking into consideration its own profitability track record, the ability to restructure and meet its financial commitments and projection, with and without the acquisition.

Considering that fact also means TNB would attain better economies of scale and cost of power generation, distribution and maintenance of assets for the said operational activities could be maintained at an optimum level for consumers.

All the 13 IPPs are operational, profit centres and earning cash.

Projection of power

Projection of power

The sixth point which is an extension to the fifth point is that TNB would be expanding its current level of group consolidated revenue and net income.

Currently, TNB is already the single largest contributor to Khazanah Holding Bhd’s portfolio of investments. Better profitability would contribute to higher net income to the Federal Government via the dividends distributed by Khazanah, on top of the taxes collected.

TNB is also one of the largest corporations in Malaysia. It could be measured from the perspective of group revenue, EBITDA, total assets, market capitalisation and 34,000 odd workforce.

The seventh point is value that Edra Energy would brought forth in TNB and Khazanah. The news about the lowest bid for Edra Energy today already shot TNB shares by more than RM1.00.

It is without doubt about the market bullishness on the possibility that TNB acquiring Edra Energy and offer better value and net income to investors.

TNB shareholders

TNB shareholders

The three major investors of TNB are Khazanah (29.7%), EPF (15.9%) and KWAP (8.9%).  Higher dividend yields is reflective of the better direct commercial benefits of 54.5% the shareholders, which covers almost all retirees now and the future.

Currently, TNB earning per share (EPS) is at 108.4 sen and dividend is at 29 sen per share.

The eighth plan is the acquisition of Edra Energy is an opportunity for the Federal Government to indirectly provide TNB’s opportunity and role to be an international power producer. The eight IPPs abroad which would add to the expansion of the current portfolio.

Its the perfect opportunity for TNB to be an instant player in international power production game. The IPPs under Edra Energy would generate its own revenue and cash to sustain operation and contribute into the consolidated group books.

These power production brown fields would cut the process short as compared if TNB were to start from greenfield upwards.

The ninth point for consideration is about also related to finance. It is learnt that TNB plans to restructure all the RM6billion borrowings that come with Edra Energy upon consolidation into the financially sound TNB Group.

TNB’s current net total asset position and the advantage of having RM2.5 billion in cash would provide the better position for these borrowings to be restructured for more favourable commercial papers, rates and strategic terms.

The tenth point is about the vendor program of TNB. As an end-to-end power producer, distributer and asset manager, TNB would open up for more opportunities for all the vendor development programs which include the Program Pengilang dan Pembangunan Vendor Bumiputera.

TNB vendor development program has demonstrated great success that the vendors are able to provide better rates. These vendors already serving TNB through subsidiaries like TNB Remarco would now have the opportunity to be in the international arena.

The eleventh and probably most important point is that for the strategic interest of energy production and energy security, the majority control of the end-to-end factors of production of power of generation, distribution and management should in the hands of Malaysians.

It is also believed that TNB would be in a better position to negotiate with upstream energy providers such Petronas and authorities in the likes of Energy Commission and Ministry of Energy and Green Technology. It would be translated in better terms in the new and renewed power production agreement (PPA) and safeguard the interest of all stakeholders, especially the consumers.

Out of 8.4 million TNB accounts, 80% of them are dwellings which only contribute to 20% of the revenue.

The twelfth point that the consolidated power production of TNB in Malaysia (current at 11,700MW which is 55% of the Malaysian power generation) would be raised to 17,300MW after the acquisition of Edra Energy where the five IPPs producing 5,590MW.

That capacity would propel TNB to the power production around the region in the likes of China Light and Power (18,800MW).

It is believed that 1MDB was the strategy to provide long term benefit for the power production and energy security of the nation. As planned, then the market capitalisation, value creation and projected income from Edra Energy was to be prtly resolved upon the initial and later the revised IPO.

The thirteenth point is that 1MDB board of directors (BoD), board of trustee (BoT) and Ministry of Finance should realise that Edra Energy should be acquired by TNB for consideration offered and the process to arrive at the point.

The fact is that the extraordinary general meeting (EGM) for the acquisition would be decided primarily by Malaysians for a successful Malaysian plc, is a worthy consideration for 1MDB to make the necessary concession. It would also provide a considerable relief of the current financial and cash-flow woes.

The fourteenth point is that 1MDB need not to make money, for the relieve of Edra Energy from its books.

The Rationalisation Plan tabled to Cabinet on 28 May 2015 could also be restructure for the consideration the left-pocket-to-right-pocket transaction, where the positive realisation would be in the form of strategic benefits by TNB, Khazanah, consumers and Malaysia’s long term energy policy.

The fifteenth and final point is the summation of all these points that the strategy that 1MDB started out to with the acquisition of all 5 Malaysian IPPs and 8 abroad could be realised through Edra Energy being reconsolidated under TNB.

The beneficial realisation from the acquisition of Edra Energy of the consolidated power generation, distribution and management points for a brighter future for the consumers, Khazanah and the Federal Government. After all, power and energy security, is one of those top most priority and  strategic importance the Federal Government should preserve.

 

Published in: on November 5, 2015 at 20:00  Leave a Comment  

Keeping it within the family

There is a growing concern about 1MDB’s proposal to rationalise its investments on energy and power generation conglomerate Edra Global Energy  Bhd. (Edra), as part rationalisation of 1MDB’s capital and debt exposure, that the new owners would be foreigners.

It is part of Group Exec. Director Arul Kanda’s rationalisation plan for capital and debt restructuring and operationalisation of investment within 1MDB, presented and approved by he Cabinet of 29 May 2015.

The bids for Edra Energy are already in:

The Star story:

1MDB draws up Edra list, TNB included

Thursday, 24 September 2015

PETALING JAYA: 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) has reportedly shortlisted several foreign parties, including Qatar’s Nebras Power QSC, Hong Kong-listed CGN Meiya Power Holdings Co and Saudi Arabia-based ACWA Power International for the sale of its power generation arm, Edra Global Energy Bhd.

Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) has also been selected to participate in the sales of 1MDB’s power plants, according to a report by Bloomberg.

The report quoted sources as saying that the assets may fetch an equity value of as much as RM8bil.

The Bloomberg report also noted that foreign bidders might be restricted to owning no more than 49% of the plants and would be encouraged to team with a local partner, unless they seek an exemption.

1MDB had yet to revert to StarBiz queries on whether it had applied for a waiver to sell its power assets to foreigners and a confirmation on some of the bidders shortlisted.

The Energy Commission said it had referred StarBiz queries to the Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry.

The ministry has yet to reply.

On Sept 7, 1MDB said it had already shortlisted four parties for the final bidding stage for the sale of Edra Global but it did not disclose the names.

1MDB is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Finance Ministry and is facing cash flow problems with debts of almost RM42bil.

It has assets of more than RM51bil, which are mostly in the form of land for development.

1MDB plans to sell Edra as part of its restructuring to reduce its debts.

Edra has five domestic and eight international power plants with total capacity of 5,500MW that are estimated to be worth RM12bil collectively.

In July, TNB had bought Edra’s 70% stake in Project 3B or a 2,000MW coal-fired plant in Jimah, Negri Sembilan, for RM46.98mil.

Last week, StarBiz reported that Edra Global has invited parties to build a new power plant to be located in Alor Gajah, Malacca.

In an advertisement, Edra stated that it was inviting “prospective applicants to express their interest in participating in a tender exercise for the design, engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning (EPC) of a 1,800MW to 2,400MW combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plant in Malaysia for Edra and/or its nominee”.

Edra’s advertisement said the power plant project would utilise advanced gas-turbine technology to realise the highest thermal efficiency consistent with the expectation of the power industry.

According to its website, CGN Meiya Power is a diversified independent power producer in Asia in terms of fuel type and geography, with a portfolio of wind, solar, gas-fired, coal-fired, oil-fired, hydro, cogeneration and fuel cell power generation projects and a steam project in China and Korea.

ACWA Power is a developer, investor, co-owner and operator of plants with a generation portfolio of 15,731 MW of power and 2.37 million m3/day of desalinated water with an investment value in excess of US$23bil.

Meanwhile, the Doha-based Nebras Power was established in 2014 and has the backing from Qatar Investment Authority through a 20% stake held by Qatar Holding LLC.

Nebras Power said on its website that it is making targeted acquisitions in South-East Asia, Europe, and MENA region, as well as forming major energy services partnerships.

Edra Global Energy Bhd. which was slotted for IPO exactly a year ago but it was postponed. Bids were received for the rationalisation of Edra, which include from foreign corporations.

************

At the moment, these foreign bids poses as a hindrance for 1MDB to hive out its investment as part of the rationalisation plan.

The Star story:

Foreign shareholding limit poser for Edra Energy sale

Saturday, 26 September 2015
By: LEONG HUNG YEE

AS the race towards the sale of Edra Global Energy Bhd picks up, it is still not known if the transaction would be the first to see foreign shareholders owning more than 50% stake in power plants.

Of the four bidders that have been reported to be interested in Edra Energy, three are foreign names, with Tenaga Nasional Bhd being the sole party from the domestic market being interested.

Among the foreign parties, at least one has confirmed it has been in talks with 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) in respect to the purchase of the power assets.

Hong Kong-based CGN Meiya Power Holdings Co Ltd has confirmed it is interested in 1MDB’s power assets and has been in talks with the latter.

“… there have been preliminary discussions as to the proposed acquisition by the company and/or its affiliates of an interest in certain energy assets of 1MDB. However, no binding or definitive acquisition documentation has been entered into by the company in respect of the proposed acquisition. As such, the proposed acquisition may or may not proceed,” CGN Meiya says in a statement on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

State-backed CGN Meiya, an arm of China’s biggest atomic power generator is a diversified independent power producer in Asia in terms of fuel type and geography, with a portfolio of wind, solar, gas-fired, coal-fired, oil-fired, hydro, cogeneration and fuel cell power generation projects and a steam project in China and South Korea.

At the moment, foreign bidders are restricted to owning no more than 49% of the plants and are generally encouraged to team with a local partner to own power plants. This is a practise that has already been adopted by the Energy Commission when it put up the power plant projects for a competive bidding process.

Interestingly, this week, a local daily reported that there were concerns should the power plants of Edra be sold to foreigners as it would mark for the first time assets such as power generation plants to be controlled by parties who are non-Malaysians. The report further stated that more worrying was that the sale to foreigners would hamper opportunities for local vendors including bumiputra vendors.

The relevant authorities involved in the sale of Edra and foreign shareholding restrictions on power plants and 1MDB have so far not reverted on this matter.

The Energy Commission (EC), which is the regulator of the industry, referred StarBizWeek’s queries to the Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry (KeTTHA).

“We have given some input (on this matter) to KeTTHA,” says an official.

The ministry, however, has yet to respond to the queries.

Meanwhile, at the time of writing, 1MDB has yet to reply to questions from StarBiz earlier this week on whether foreign-owned entities were among the bidders for Edra Energy and whether it had applied to the relevant authorities on seeking an exemption on foreign shareholding of the power plants.

Industry players say the participation of foreign buyers will likely be limited to 49% as with the case with participation of foreign bidders for new generation capacity in the past.

“Foreign parties are not allowed to own a majority stake in the power firm due to a nationality requirement under its power purchase agreement,” a banker notes.

Association of Water and Energy Research (Awer) president S. Piarapakaran says that based on the last two competitive bidding processes, the policy is straight forward – a maximum 49% cap on foreign equity.

“Secondly, electricity generation is also part of national energy security. Having a lot of power plants owned with higher foreign equity is not seen as a favourable move for a small economy like Malaysia,” he says.

Piarapakaran says any sale to entities that are foreign-controlled will create a precedence to other power plant owners to sell power plants to foreign companies.

“Therefore, the EC must be clear on government policies, bearing in mind that setting a precedence may backfire,” he says.

The sales of 1MDB power assets, valued at RM18bil in its books, is certainly gaining traction.

Early this week, 1MDB reportedly shortlisted several foreign parties, including CGN Meiya Qatar’s Nebras Power QSC and Saudi Arabia-based ACWA Power International for the sale of Edra.

TNB has also been selected to participate in the sales of 1MDB’s power plants.

The sale of Edra Energy is part of 1MDB’s rationalisation plan to reduce its debts of close to RM42bil.

1MDB was supposed to list Edra by the first quarter of this year, but had to withdraw its application due to uncertainties in relation to a 2,000MW coal-fired plant dubbed Project 3B.

The sale of 1MDB has not only attracted foreign parties but also local players. Besides TNB, the other companies that had expressed interested were YTL Power International Bhd and Malakoff Corp Bhd. But only Tenaga has put in an indicative bid.

On Sept 7, 1MDB said it had already shortlisted four parties for the final bidding stage for the sale of Edra Global but it did not disclose the names.

Edra has five domestic and eight international power plants with total capacity of 5,500MW worth RM12bil collectively.

In July, TNB had bought Edra’s 70% stake in Project 3B or a 2,000MW coal-fired plant in Jimah, Negri Sembilan, for RM46.98mil.

It has been an eventful journey leading up to the sale of Edra.

In the first week of March this year, 1MDB withdrew its submission seeking a listing of Edra Global after failing to meet Securities Commission requirements.

Late March, the Finance Ministry (MoF) appointed CIMB Group for the sale of Edra Global. But the mandate was relinquished a week later. Since then, 1MDB has been looking at a sale of Edra Global.

After the sale of Project 3B to TNB in July, Edra Global is now looking at commencing work on another power plant project in Malacca.

Towards this end, Edra has invited parties to build a new power plant to be located in Alor Gajah, Malacca.

In an advertisement, Edra stated that it was inviting “prospective applicants to express their interest in participating in a tender exercise for the design, engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning (EPC) of a 1,800MW to 2,400MW combined-cycle gas turbine power plant in Malaysia for Edra and/or its nominee”.

Edra’s advertisement said the power plant project would utilise advanced gas-turbine technology to realise the highest thermal efficiency consistent with the expectation of the power industry.

**************

Naturally, it attracted many eye browse to be raised despite only five out of the thirteen power generation plants are within Malaysian waters.

Utusan Malaysia story:

1MDB jual Edra pada firma asing?

JOHARDY IBRAHIM | 23 September 2015 12:52 AM
11 2 Google +0
KUALA LUMPUR 22 Sept. – 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) dijangka mengumumkan satu daripada tiga firma asing sebagai pemenang bida untuk mengambil alih 13 aset tenaga Edra Global Energy Berhad miliknya yang bernilai RM10 bilion atau AS$2.3 bilion, dalam usaha mengurangkan hutang piutang syarikat tersebut.

Sumber industri berkata, firma tenaga berpangkalan di Arab Saudi, ACWA Power International dan Pihak Berkuasa Pelaburan Qatar dikatakan berada di hadapan dalam senarai empat pembida, bersama satu lagi entiti asing dan juga firma tenaga tunggal dari Malaysia, Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB).
“Keputusan itu dijangka diumumkan secara rasmi selewat-lewatnya awal Oktober ini iaitu minggu depan,’’ katanya kepada Utusan Malaysia di sini hari ini.
Sumber industri bagaimanapun, melahirkan kebimbangan keputusan menjual kepada entiti asing boleh memberi implikasi sebaliknya terhadap 1MDB yang kini bergelumang dengan pelbagai kontroversi dan persepsi.
“Sebanyak 15 peratus aset Edra merupakan loji janakuasa tempatan dan dengan kepentingan menyediakan bekalan elektrik yang lancar ke seluruh negara, ia adalah dalam kepentingan negara bahawa aset-aset itu kekal dikuasai entiti Malaysia, bukan dijual kepada entiti asing,’’ katanya.
Malah ujar sumber industri, langkah ini dikhuatiri memberi kesan kepada kerajaan Malaysia kerana penjualan aset Edra kepada entiti asing bermakna pertama kali dalam sejarah industri strategik negara, aset jana kuasa dimiliki orang asing.
“Bila dikuasai oleh orang asing, siapa dapat membendung kemungkinan harga lebih tinggi jika bukan para pengguna iaitu rakyat Malaysia?,’’ soalnya lagi.
Lebih membimbangkan ujar sumber industri itu lagi, penjualan Edra kepada entiti asing akan menutup peluang kepada vendor-vendor tempatan termasuk Bumiputera yang telah berjaya dibimbing selama ini.
1MDB pada asalnya, mengumumkan rancangan untuk menyenaraikan perniagaan tenaganya pada Julai 2014, untuk menjana dana sebanyak RM11 bilion.
Sebahagian daripada dana itu bertujuan untuk membayar balik hutangnya yang menggunung kepada RM42 bilion setakat 31 Mac 2014.
Menurut laporan, 1MDB ha­­rus memba­yar antara RM2.4 bilion hingga RM2.7 bilion setahun dari segi faedah pinjaman.
Rancangan tersebut bagaimanapun, telah dibatalkan dengan 1MDB memutuskan untuk menjual kepentingannya dalam Edra.
Aset Edra terdiri daripada lima loji jana kuasa tempatan dan lapan antarabangsa termasuk di Bangladesh dan Mesir selain merupakan yang kedua terbesar di Malaysia selepas Malakoff Corp Bhd. Syarikat kerajaan itu juga mempunyai asetnya di Emiriyah Arab Bersatu (UAE) dan di Pakistan menerusi syarikat usaha sama.
Keseluruhannya Edra memiliki kapasiti penjanaan tenaga sebanyak 5,500 MegaWat yang dianggarkan bernilai RM10 bilion oleh bank-bank.
1MDB sebelum ini telah menandatangani Perjanjian Pembelian dan Penjualan Saham (SSPA) dengan TNB untuk mengambil alih 70 peratus kepentingan di dalam Jimah East Power Sdn. Bhd. (JEP), yang dimiliki 1MDB dengan nilai RM46.98 juta.
– See more at: http://www.utusan.com.my/bisnes/korporat/1mdb-jual-edra-pada-firma-asing-1.139242#sthash.owLTnyvf.dpuf

***************

For the record, the original plan for Edra Energy to be listed was in November 2013. However the delay in the award of Project 3B did not draw the right attraction for the IPO. Eventually, Project 3B was obtained in February 2014 and the works of IPO were restarted and the new target was set for November 2014.

However, the voracious and vile attacks of media such as Sarawak Report, The Edge etc. hampered the market confidence for the revised IPO plans. The delayed of Edra IPO affected the cash-flow of 1MDB and that spiralled into the vicious cycle.

Hence, the game of Edra IPO is back in play and part of the ‘Rationalisation Plan’.

Energy and power generation is deemed as ‘strategic’ and some people see ‘energy security’ as a very strategic interest that the nation should really closely guard.

Regardless, TNB is one of the bidders and there are commercial merits for Edra Energy be part of the nation’s premier power generation and distribution corporation. TNB is one of the core investments under Khazanah Nasional Berhad.

First of all, both Edra and TNB are Malaysian corporations and staffed by Malaysians. The culture and work relationship is seamless. The senior management of Edra are used how Malaysians do things and consumerism.

Edra Global Energy Bhd. portfolio

Edra Global Energy Bhd. portfolio

Secondly, since five of thirteen Edra power generation plants is here in Malaysia, there should be an economies of scale especially in resources and supply chain management.

The third point is that as a strategic investment of the Malaysian Government, Edra being part of TNB would be complimentary to deliver all the socio-economic development plans currently under the 11th Malaysia Plan and there on. Energy planning is a very important element to ensure the the nation’s growth is followed through.

The electrification program into the rural areas is still very much a key ingredient of Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak’s ‘Transformation Plan’. This include the development and strengthening basic infrastructure to all communities.

Projection of power

Projection of power

An interesting fourth point is that the power generation sector in Malaysia generates USD35 billion per annum. It is of strategic important that Malaysian corporations are the net benefactors of the income derived from this sector.

The fifth point is that Edra is at the moment generating almost 14.4% of electricity within Malaysia. TNB at the moment is providing 55% of the power generated in Malaysia. The acquisition of Edra would bring TNB’s power generation level to over 69%.

The synergy for TNB to acquire Edra as part of its power generation program would definitely brought about economies of scale and strategic benefits not only to the corporation, but Malaysian consumers.

The sixth point is that Edra would be good extension of TNB for revenue of power generation from abroad since eight of the power plants are in Bangladesh and Egypt and associate corporations in UAE and Pakistan. It is a matured investment and could be realised immediately.

On the issue or even perception that TNB and/or Khazanah would be a bail out for 1MDB, it would easily mitigated that TNB is a plc and the shareholders would decide on this strategic corporate exercise.

TNB shareholders

TNB shareholders

After all, the offer would be a commercial in nature and the projection of future income and how it would affect the cash-flow of TNB as a Group would itself be the arguments for the bid.

The decision would be purely based on commercial basis which include the ability of this deal be financed either internally, within the Khazanah Group, from commercial banks and/or financial houses or a hybrid mix of the variable sources.

The fact is that 1MDB rationalisation plan for Edra Global Energy attracted a handful of good foreign bids. It is commercially viable and TNB should take the calculated risk and acquire the conglomerate.

Recently, there are valuable lessons learnt from the artificial controversy arisen from really bad bloggers canvassing the hiving off of the TRX parcel to Tabung Haji was advocated as “Bailing out 1MDB”. The fact is that, the TRX deal was a very good investment with huge commercial potential and its reflective from other deals.

It is without doubt that for the strategic sake of Malaysia, this deal should be transacted from the left pocket to the right pocket, in utmost transparency and on commercial basis.

Published in: on September 27, 2015 at 18:00  Comments (6)  

Celcom launch Zipit Chat

zipitlogo

A secured communication mobile application for Android and iOS platforms based on the AES-256 military grade encryption technology called Zipit Chat, has been launched and now live for commercial download.

20150915-BANNER_main

It is a product developed 100% by Malaysian R & D engineers in Malaysia and it is collaboration between mTouche Technology Bhd. and Celcom.

As part of the campaign to the official launch, Celcom did a Hackerton to entice the interest on the feature of this applications, which is about secured messaging. The online campaign reached  18 million viewers and 17,000 registered to participate in the challenge to hack the messages, which provided a prize of RM100,000 in cash.

image

None succeeded!

Hence, the encryption feature of the secured messaging application which enables subscribers to have a tamper-proof communication through sms, chat, e mail and voice-over-internet-protocol (VOIP), is the main selling point of the online product.

image

How it works

  • In one-to-one communication, there is a mutual key exchange between sender and receiver using RSA algorithm.

Any 3rd party will not be able to decrypt the messages without the key. All messages communicated via Zipit Chat use 256-bit AES encryption technology.

 

  • In Group chats, a mutual shared key within a group is used to encrypt and decrypt messages communicated via the group channel.
  • In all the communication, only encrypted data will be sent via the line. Even if there is an interception during transmission, all they get is gibberish because they do not have the key to decrypt the actual message.
  • Zipit Chat also enables secure notes feature where users can keep their sensitive data encrypted in the application.

Think of it as a physical safe that keeps all the private and confidential files, locked with a padlock, and the rightful owner has the lock to open it.

Soon, it is expected that Celcom would bundle the application in some of the plans.

image

The launch and officiating of the Zipit Chat was done by Celcom Chief Marketing Officer Zalman Affendy Zainal Abidin and the Branding Team. The event was graced by Celcom CEO Dato’ Sri Shazalli Ramly.

11063637_10153215454091448_6009202614236543248_o

This is a new milestone for Malaysians to communicate securely and with a lot of comfort.

Published in: on September 23, 2015 at 15:15  Comments (5)  
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,491 other followers